Ah, the way my mind works sometimes. :P Here's just a little something I came up with today, a little blurb that popped into my mind and just had to be preserved for all in the Avatar fandom. Please enjoy and review! :D
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Avatar: The Last Airbender. The show and its characters belong to Mike and Bryan, the brillant geniuses behind one of the greatest cartoon shows in the history of cartoons. Their work is legendary, and I salute them for it. I also do not own The Last Airbender: Legend of Korra.
Discovery & Coping
It's happened. The Avatar has been reincarnated into the Water Tribe. He's here, Zuko; Aang's returned to the South Pole…but in another body.
The Order of the White Lotus found her after her parents had contacted their division in the South Pole. They had sent a message to the Order asking them to come help them with their young daughter because she was bending the other elements, and they were concerned about their little girl, thinking that she had been possessed by a spirit.
The White Lotus members tested the little girl, and…she passed. She is, without a doubt, the Avatar.
I've seen her, Zuko. They brought her here for a quick day of training before they sent her back home to her parents. Her name is Korra, and…I can hardly believe that she's the Avatar.
She's nothing like Aang: she's rude, obnoxious, stubborn, blunt, hard-headed, uncompromising, and sharply sarcastic. I've met her parents, and they're incredibly nice and sincere people. Their daughter, on the other hand, is just a little monster!
I can hardly stand being around her, Zuko. Every time I see her out in the courtyard practicing her Earthbending and Firebending with her instructors, all I can think about is how Aang went from being the most important person in my life to this snarky, pudgy little girl who doesn't seem to care about anything. The other White Lotus members insist that I train Korra in Waterbending, but I just can't bring myself to do it.
How could things have changed so fast, Zuko? For so long, we worked alongside Aang, helping him to restore balance to the world. The future seemed so bright for us: our beloved children had all grown up and moved out of the house, starting families of their own, the United Republic of Nations was thriving on its own, and the peace we helped create ensured that Aang and I could spend the remainder of our lives together at our home in the South Pole.
When he died five years ago, the world turned into something horrible and ugly for me. Nothing could ever be the same without Aang, and Korra is nothing but a shameful and despicable knife in his memory. On any given day when I saw her, I would cry myself to sleep that very night, remembering how far things have fallen since Aang's death.
I don't care if I sound as hateful towards Korra as I was towards you when you first joined us at the Western Air Temple all those years ago; Korra can never be what Aang was, plain and simple. I refuse to help her with Waterbending. I refuse to even be in the same room as her, much less train her!
Please, Zuko…help me. I don't want to feel this way. As much as I despise Korra, she is Aang's reincarnation. He's still in there; I can see it in Korra's eyes whenever I see her. I can feel him staring back at me, asking me how I could possibly be so bitter towards someone who is him. Please, Zuko…I'm so confused and torn apart; I love Aang, but…I don't know if I can do this.
Love, your dear friend,
I'm sorry you feel this way about Korra, but at least give her a chance. She's only a little girl, and most children do start off as immature and ridiculously childish. She'll grow out of it, given the time and discipline that the Order of the White Lotus will give her. Plus, she's been put into an unfamiliar environment with total strangers, and perhaps this is her way of dealing with new and unexpected things.
I know things haven't been easy for you since Aang's death; all of us are going through hardships of our own. Even I still have dreams of when Aang and I would sit out at the Palace Garden, watching our children as they played by the little Turtle-Duck pond. There are days where I would just go to the beach and stare out at the ocean for hours on end, remembering all the times I spent with Aang in my life. He changed me in so many ways, there's no way I could have possibly repaid him in his lifetime or even in Korra's lifetime.
I won't deny that your grief is far worse than mine, but the hurt is still there. Ask yourself this question: do you think Aang would want you to brood over his death like this, beating yourself up for everything and not allowing yourself to move on with your life for fear of losing him from your mind? No, he wouldn't, and that's why you need to pick yourself up and focus on the present.
Things usually change without our wanting it to, Katara. That's what life is, after all; unpredictable and always changing with each passing day.
As to your statement where you said Korra could never be what Aang was, you're right; she can never be what he was. But that's because he helped to make a world where his successor wouldn't have to worry about settling international conflicts or long-standing wars. Her story will be radically different from his story, that much is clear, but she's going to be shaped by the people who help to train her to become the Avatar she was meant to be.
As to you helping Korra train, think of it this way: you'd be helping pay tribute to Aang's memory. He may be gone in body, but his spirit and his memory will always be in your heart. You're still wearing the betrothal necklace he made for you when he proposed to you; that was an incredibly special day for the both of you, one you won't forget for as long as you live. Yes, training Korra won't be the same as training Aang. She'll do things that'll make you want to tear your hair loopies off, but think about what you'll be helping her become: an Avatar worthy of her predecessor, one that Aang can be proud of.
As my departed Uncle would say, "Judge a cup of tea not by its texture and look, but by the nourishment and wonderful warmth it provides."
I hope this helps, Katara. Remember what Aang said long ago, when you and I went to confront Yon Rha? "Let your anger out, and then let it go." You may not be saying it, but you blame Korra for taking Aang. My advice to you: don't. Forgive her, and move on with your life. Aang will be watching you through Korra. Make him proud.
It's what he would want.
Fire Lord Zuko
Well…things have certainly improved with Korra and I. After I got your letter, I took her aside one day and had a long talk with her. Surprisingly, she was very respectful of my wish, and she patiently listened while I told her how I felt about her.
What shocked me the most is that she actually started crying after I was done talking. When I asked her what was wrong, she said, "I'm sorry that Aang's dead because of me, Sifu Katara. I didn't mean for it to happen." The way her voice cracked with absolute grief and guilt, it…it made me realize that she really was sorry.
I hugged her that day, Zuko, held her close to me like I would have with one of my own children. It just felt so right, so natural that I couldn't help it. I wiped away her tears and told her that I was the one who should be sorry. When she asked me why, I said, "Because it was his time to go. I shouldn't blame you for something that was meant to happen."
Later that night, I prayed to Aang, asking him if training Korra was the right thing to do. In my dreams that night, I could hear his voice but not actually see him. He said, "You've already forgiven her, Katara. What you do from here on out is up to you."
So…I decided to be Korra's Waterbending teacher.
She's really changed now. All that earlier rudeness and snarky sarcasm melted away after our little talk, leaving a rather sweet and perky little girl in its place. She's bubbly and full of energy, and she's really toning up with all the practice sessions we're putting her through. Once she's older, the Order of the White Lotus will take her into full-time training at their base here in the South Pole, still allowing her to visit her family from time to time.
She's amazing when it comes to bending, though I've discovered that her Waterbending style is much rougher than my own. However, her Earthbending and Firebending are exceptional indeed. We're keeping her away from Airbending until the day comes that she can train under Tenzin's guidance.
Oh, have I mentioned how much that little girl loves Firebending? She uses it even more than her Waterbending! I'm telling you, Zuko, she's a complete natural when it comes to Firebending that you'd swear she was a Fire Nation Avatar instead of a Water Tribe Avatar.
We do have a lot of fun in our training sessions, and it helps to remind me of all those times I'd do the same thing with Aang. Every time she calls me "Sifu Katara", I can't help but tear up when I remember the first time Aang called me that. I'm sure that with time and a tender, loving hand to guide her, Korra will most certainly become an Avatar worthy of succeeding Aang.
I can't thank you enough for your advice and support, Zuko. You've been the truest of friends ever since Aang passed away, and you've helped to give me the courage to move on in my life. Without you, well…I don't think I could be where I am today with Korra.
Thank you, Zuko, for everything.
With deepest gratitude,
P.S. – Korra says "Hi, Sifu Hotman!"
The elderly Fire Lord fondly chuckled to himself as he read the post-note at the bottom of Katara's most recent letter. "Welcome back, Aang," he quietly said to himself, rolling up the parchment and tucking it away in a special drawer of his desk. He snuffed his reading candle out with a flick of his wrist, proceeding down the grand hall with a warm smile and mind lost to the reminiscences of the past.